You want a six pack! Not a bunch of well-toned muscles that nobody’s ever going to see! Right?
Right and wrong.
You might want a six pack (hey there’s a lot to be said for tight abs!) but most people also want core strength, stability, and a back that doesn’t hurt. In that case, you want to get to know your stabiliser muscles.
What and Where Are the Stabiliser Muscles?
Heh-heh. It’s not exactly a trick question, but your stabiliser muscles are all around. Literally, they’re all around your core, your thoracic spine, between your ribs, and they wrap around your back. (Stabiliser muscles are actually all over your body, but focusing on the core area gives you the biggest bang for the buck, health- and fitness wise.) They hold things in place and they work in collaboration with other muscles to produce smooth, strong, safe movements.
Want to run faster, jump higher, lift more, or just not put your back out next time you pick something up off the floor?
Meet your stabiliser muscles. Trust us, you want them to be there for you.
How to Strengthen Stabiliser Muscles
Good news: many different exercises, lifts and activities activate and strengthen the stabilisers. Bad news: many of those activities can cause injuries (or at least discomfort) when you have weak stabilisers.
And that’s a great answer to the next questions, which is “Why strengthen the stabiliser muscles?” But, hang on. Let’s go back to HOW.
Pretty much every session here, we work on stabilizers – and quite often our clients don’t realize they’re doing it. Why?
Because when you’re doing an exercise correctly – whether it’s a lift, a sled, or a series in a MyZone, Sweat Box, or another class, chances are you’re improving your stabilisers. The key is “doing an exercise correctly.” Unfortunately too often injuries occur – when lifting, especially – because you’ve pushed past your stabilisers’ ability to hold your body in the proper alignment. This is why form is so crucial – not so you look good doing your exercise, but so you (get the most benefit from it and) FEEL GOOD after.
Pilates is one form of exercise that is especially known for improving stabilisers, but since the muscles are truly all over your body, most exercise experts focus on proper form while doing any exercise – which will also benefit your stabilisers.
Of course there are many moves you can do that target specific stabilisers, and that often becomes the focus of rehab sessions. This is one of the (many) reasons we ask so many questions of our clients, and work so closely with them while they train. If you’ve had pain in your knees after squats, it may NOT be because you used too much weight. It’s quite possible your stabilisers didn’t keep you in proper form, therefore, the squat not only didn’t build your strength, you also hurt later. That’s not good! That’s how misconceptions are formed (“I can’t do squats”) and how bad habits can lead to injury.
Strengthening your stabilisers is hardly a new fad. Here’s what we said about stabilisers and kettlebell training a few years ago.
Do the right exercises the right way, and you’ll build all the right muscles – meaning that six pack and those “invisible” stabilisers
Why Focus on Stabiliser Muscles?
To avoid injury, to be able to manage life activities better as well as to increase your overall strength and…to get that six pack, to minimize love handles, and to be able to button your pants more comfortably.
So. Yeah, you want a six-pack — and you want to have killer stabiliser muscles, too. Even if nobody’s gonna see them 😉
There are hundreds of “little” things you can do to strengthen your stabilisers, and we help our clients do that in every session. Because they’re so important to your athletic performance and simply living life comfortably and well, it’s just smart training, frankly. So get in touch and see what we can do for you (and your stabilisers)!